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Centi-Bunker
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:13 pm
Post subject: Centi-Bunker

The topic of bunkers build by the Swiss army reusing Centurion's turrets isn't documented too well. So I guess people may like to take a look at this photo-gallery, even if text is in german:
www.unterirdischeschwe...86834.html

Additional info here:
festung-oberland.ch/Wa...unker.html

Massimo
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Hanno_Spoelstra
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:32 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Thanks Massimo, an interesting subject.

Somewhere I have the number of ex-Netherlands Army Centurion tanks which were supplied to Austria. These were supplied under MDAP, and after replacement by Leopards they were handed back on paper to the USA, who of course had no idea what to do with them. Austria had a need for tank turrets for their bunkers, and at the same time Israel was looking for Centurion automotive spares. It was a Dutch officer who came up with the plan to send the turrets to Austria and the chassis to Israel. Recycling avant la lettre. . .

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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:59 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Massimo

how many of these bunkers where there in Switzerland?

They where using an special modified tank chassis to place the Centurion turrets
So there had to be several more of these "Centurion turret bunkers"

Michel

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:51 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

how many of these bunkers where there in Switzerland?


I think the answer should be here

Geplant waren ursprünglich über 100 solcher Sperranlagen, dieses Zahl wurde relativ rasch auf 50 reduziert. Nach dem Fall der Berliner Mauer plante man noch für 28 Anlagen (700'000 Franken pro Monobloc), schliesslich wurden 20 Kriegsanlagen gebaut (zusätzlich 3 im Ausbildungszentrum Weissenburg) Die Baukosten pro Centi-Bunker betrugen rund 400'000 Franken. Mit der Armee XXI wurden die Anlagen ausgemustert, seit dem 1. Januar 2003 sind diese entklassifiziert.


I tried with Google Translate, but I am not sure it got it 100% right Laughing

Massimo
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:30 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

There are some nice parts in the google tranlation Mr. Green

This is my version

Geplant waren ursprünglich über 100 solcher Sperranlagen .....etc, etc..... 2003 sind diese entklassifiziert.


The original plan was to build 100 similar obstacles, however this number was quickly reduced to 50
After the fall the Berlin wall, the plan was changed to build only 28 facilities (700.000 Swiss franc's ~ $664.000)
Finally only 20 such obstacles where build, besides these also 3 where build for the training facility at Weissenburg.
The building cost for each Centurion-bunker where 400.00 Swiss franc's (~$380.000)
With the Armee XXI (Swiss army reform 21st century) the facilities became obselete and from 1-jan 2003 they are no longer military objects


Michel

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:43 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Finally only 20 such obstacles where build, besides these also 3 where build for the training facility at Weissenburg.

I wonder if they are counting "turrets" or "installations" that could potentially use multiple turrets?

There is a Centi-bunker 30min drive away from my home, handled by Forte Mondascia's guys. But I have been unable to visit it so far. It's open only upon request for groups of at least 12 people. I hope to get there one of these days.

Massimo
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:24 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Hi Massimo,

I have been reading the info at the Festung Oberland website and there is some very interresting info there

First of all the text you have copied and I have translated is an mix of rigth and wrong

The start of building solid defence works started just before WW2
At the start of WW2 the Swiss army studied the German Blitzkrieg and started an major construction program for defence works

To be short, Switzerland was turned into one big fortress Surprised

There where first line defence works created all along the Swiss border
Besides defence works at the border there where also major defence works (festungen) created in the centre of Switzerland, called the Reduit

An typical major defence work consisted of an tank turret, an bunker with artillery and various other bunker types
They where all connected with each other
festung-oberland.ch/Sc...ge17_1.jpg

This main line of defence was in the southern part of Switzerland, against the border with Italy (see picture)
festung-oberland.ch/Sc...ge16_1.jpg

The major part of the army would be inside this main line of defence
It was calculated that the construction had cost 670 million Swiss franc's (in 1945, today it would be 8 billion franc)

After the war the army was reduced in size and there was little modification done on the various defence works

This changed at the start of the Cold War
In 1961 started an major modernization programm
All the defence works where supplied with new modern weapons systems and the facilities where modified to withstand new threads

Over the years the various defence works where constantly modernized (so Centurion turrets appeared in time)

Around 1982-1985 an new style of defence work was created
This style is called Monoblock and consists of an large caliber weapon inside an self supporting bunker
Usually there are two at an defence location
One is supplied with an 155mm canon (called Bison) and the other is supplied with an 120mm mortar
festung-oberland.ch/Sc...ge17_2.jpg

The range of the 155mm canon is about 40km (25 mile)
The performance can be compared with the M109 self propelled howitzer

In 1995 the major defence works became obselete and with the 21st century army programm where no longer part of the military

However because all the defence works are build inside the mountains they are still all there

Also the Monoblock defence works at strategic important locations are still operationel

Michel

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:33 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Yes, Switzerland is a very fascinating place for fortification enthusiasts, so many installations are in great shape since they were kept in active service since just a few years ago.

Massimo
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:47 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

The Swiss Army acquired 300+ Centurions, so there would be plenty of turrets to spare.

One little know thing is that the Swiss Army acquired 20 Centurions from the Canadian Army in 1978, they were used for spare parts and 4 turrets turned into simulators. One of the two Centurions visible in Thin's Panzermuseum is indeed a former canadian tank:
www.preservedtanks.com...5&Select=4

Massimo
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:41 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

If I remember correctly the Swiss sold a lot of Centurions to Sweden in the 90's, they were mostly used as hard targets for missile tests, STRIX 120mm mortar ammo tests also took a heavy toll on them.

STRIX Promo with ex. Swiss Centurion hard targets

Ex. Swiss Centurion hit by a RB56 missle

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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:28 am
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Great link! I like the outside to inside sequencing. The little chip of the topographic map explains the placement very well.

Do the Swiss have trouble with vandals or thieves damaging these installations?
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:41 am
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Do the Swiss have trouble with vandals or thieves damaging these installations?

Not that I am aware. Usually they are fences/enclosures around. Private associations take care of many of them, but they are tipically accessible only a few days a year or on demand. See Reuenthal for example:
www.festungsmuseum.ch/...on/f38.cfm

Massimo
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:06 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

I have been reading in the information at the Festung Oberland site an little

And the information about the defence works is very good

I finally know what some of these metal doors are, that can be found along some of the major roads through the mountains

Some of them are acces doors to "Sperrstelle mit Sprengobjekt"
You could translate it with "blast location with explosive object"

The idea was to blast part of the mountain so it would drop onto the road beneath, to block the road

Michel

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:16 pm
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

The idea was to blast part of the mountain so it would drop onto the road beneath, to block the road


Reminds me a lot of all the pre em-placed stuff in South Korea along the Western Corridor.

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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:21 am
Post subject: Re: Centi-Bunker

Reminds me a lot of all the pre em-placed stuff in South Korea along the Western Corridor


That is not the only place where they have copied the idea

The same system was also used in Austria
Primarily to defend the country against Hungary and Czechoslovakia, later against the Warsaw Pact and NATO

I doubt if the Swiss invented it, most likely it is as old as mankind

However I'm 100% sure it where not the Dutch who invented it Laughing Laughing Laughing

Michel

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